Hate crime is any incident committed against a person or property that is motivated by malice or ill-will towards people because of their sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, race, or religion.
Hate crimes and incidents can include (but are not limited to)
• physical assault
• obscene calls or gestures
• intimidating or threatening behaviour
• hate mail
• abusive name calling
Gay and bisexual men, including trans-men, unfortunately remain the targets of hate crime, however, many are still unwilling to report these incidents either through fear of reprisals from their attackers or because of unwillingness to make a face-to-face report to the police, as this would involve disclosing their sexual orientation or transgender identity. MOT and Police Scotland are dedicated to improving their responses to these issues and are committed to working with individuals affected to improve responses, including supporting more people to report / making services more accessible.
Police Scotland takes hate crime very seriously and encourages members of all communities to report incidents to the police. Even if what happened does not amount to a crime they will still record it for information and future reference.
There are a number of ways to make it easier for you to report hate crime to the police. The following methods of reporting will not provide an immediate response and are for non-emergency situations:
• Phoning the police - non-emergency number 101
• Go to your local police station
• Report to a police officer in the street
• Report hate crime online
• Report anonymously - call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
• Report through MOT or Sexual Health Services
If it is an emergency and police attendance is immediately required to prevent injury to any person or to arrest offenders for a serious offence then dial 999.
For more information on reporting hate crime please visit the Police Scotland website
Why should you report a hate crime?
Every time you report a hate incident, that report gives the police a clearer picture of homophobic and transphobic hate crime, both in your community and across Scotland.
Every report that is made plays an important part in raising awareness and changing attitudes for the better.
You might feel that someone heckling you in the street isn’t worth reporting – that the incident is too trivial to be worth the trouble. You might feel that a few minutes of abuse isn’t worth the time it takes to report an incident.
But if you report the incident, your action could make all the difference. As well as nipping something more serious in the bud, you’re helping the police do their job and identify and deal with trouble makers. Police put their resources where the problems are. If they don’t know you’re having a problem, how are they supposed to help solve it?
Statistics are powerful. They get things changed. If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a homophobic or transphobic incident, report it: make it count
Remember: if the matter is urgent always call 999!